Works in: Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7

In our opinion this is the best way to swap the control and caps lock keys in Windows because you don't have to rely on any external program and the registry edit works 100% perfectly (for the paranoid).

Why should one bother changing the caps lock and control keys, what's wrong with the control key where it is? After extensive testing, our conclusion is that - if you use the control key a lot (like in Emacs or Vim), then you should definitely swap the control and caps lock keys as it's extremely ergo-dynamic to have the control key in the home row.
  1. Click Start -> Run
  2. Type: regedit, and click OK
  3. Go to: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE -> System -> CurrentControlSet -> Control -> KeyBoard Layout
    Note: KeyBoard Layout, and not KeyBoard Layouts
  4. Right-click: Keyboard Layout, and select New -> Binary value
  5. Rename: New Value #1 -> Scancode Map
  6. Right click: Scancode Map -> Modify
  7. 0000  00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
    0008  03 00 00 00 1d 00 3a 00
    0010  3a 00 1d 00 00 00 00 00  
  8. Close regedit and restart your computer


Rebecca Sawyer I just tried this and it didn't work. Typed in the code above and then restarted my computer. No change in my capslock or left CTRL key. So I re-opened the registry editor and the Scancode Map appeared exactly as the code above, but no change I have a 2009 Dell Precision Workstation running Windows XP, Service Pack 3.
Any ideas?
Sanjib Hi Rebecca,

The fix should have worked for Windows XP. I personally had the caps and ctrl switched on XP, Vista and Windows 7 using the registry edit above. So I am pretty sure it will work.

Can you double-check if you edited the values for:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE -> System -> CurrentControlSet -> Control -> KeyBoard Layout

Remember it's for "KeyBoard Layout", and not "KeyBoard Layouts"

Personally I like the registry edit because it's very simple and no software needed to be installed. Another solution is to use:


XKeymacs primarily offers Emacs style key bindings in addition to caps and control switch.
Mike I'd like the Caps Lock to be a control key, but keep the existing control key too. I have no need for a caps lock anywhere on the keyboard. Is this possible?
Stefan It works for windows 7, thanks!
David Giese Worked Great for me! Thanks so much. I agree, it is nice not having to install another program.
Miguel Worked perfectly with me, windows 7! =)
Will Worked for me under win7 though letters entered through modify, 'a' and 'd', shown to be capitalized for some reason.

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